Dad Finds Unexpected Joy
Gene Presson saw the difference in his sons instantly. "People don't realize how important a sense of accomplishment is. They take for granted what it means to a person, the impact of receiving praise for a job well done. It can make all the difference."
Both of Gene's sons have intellectual disabilities and when they joined the local Special Olympics bowling team, the change was immediate.
They seemed more confident. They had gained a new sense of purpose and they looked forward to every outing. Gene decided he wanted to learn more and check out Special Olympics for himself.
Gene went to the Summer Games 'just to observe', but by the end of the day, he was so overwhelmed watching all the dedicated volunteers, it inspired him to get involved. He decided, "I needed to do something and it motivated me to start volunteering."
Gene took up downhill skiing along with his boys and volunteered as an instructor's aid. One of his favorite memories was of the Winter Games. Gene recalled, "To this day I still get emotional remembering my youngest son standing on the medal platform and crying with joy."
What better gift can you give?
When the time came to update his estate plans, Gene said "Both of my sons gained such a sense of pride through Special Olympics, it was automatic to designate a portion of my estate to Special Olympics."
Gene chose to include Special Olympics as a beneficiary of his will. He set it up so that certain percentages will go to his family and then a portion of the remainder will go to Special Olympics.
Gene has experienced first-hand the life-changing impact of our mission, "Knowing what my boys have gotten out of Special Olympics, and seeing what other participants get out of it-the joy on their faces over their accomplishments-is such a tremendous reward, this must continue."
When asked what he would say to someone who was debating whether or not to include Special Olympics in their own plans, Gene said, "Just do it! It's a gift that will bring such joy and accomplishment to so many people's lives in the future. What better gift can you give?"
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